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Last Updated: Friday, 13 January 2006, 17:53 GMT
Click kit review: CES 2006
Richard Taylor
By Richard Taylor
Click editor

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is nothing short of gadget heaven. Richard Taylor gives a rundown of some of the quirkier, eye-popping tech toys to drool over.

Some gadgets at CES are so cool you could catch a chill.

Or at least your drink could catch one - with a USB-powered drinks cooler. Hook it up and keep your drink chilling even while your PC heats up.

Kodak showed off here the world's first digital camera to sport two lenses - one for regular shots and the other for a much wider angle on proceedings.

And another way of achieving the same result comes in the form of magnetic clip-on optical lenses.

Simply choose whether you want a closer or more wide-angle shot and then magnetically attach it to your digital camera, mobile phone or even camcorder. Simple, but effective.

There are some truly wacky and inventive creations. How about a mobile satellite receiver for when you are desperate to turn your car into a roving wireless hotspot?

And if you are bored with USB flash memory sticks, then perhaps you would consider a water-proof credit card version which simply slips into your wallet.

Or maybe this takes your fancy - a wireless speaker with built-in 802.11g receiver and on-board amp to stream your music to.

Looking skywards, one unique product called the Skyscanner could be just the answer to foster a whole new generation of astronomers.

Essentially you point up to the heavens and it actually gives you on its display recorded information of the stars or planets you are looking at by comparing it to data in its database of 6,000 celestial objects.

It works using a combination of gravitational sensors, a digital compass and built-in GPS locater. Truly novel.

Identification of a personal kind comes in the form of a palm recognition device which measures the blood flowing through your hand to ID you.

And because it is measuring a flow, rather than being just a static identifier, it is harder to spoof than, say, fingerprint or iris recognition.

We heard earlier how making calls over the net is coming of age. Now there is a wireless headset which connects up to your home or office landline and then switches automatically when you want to make a call via the computer.

And how about a mouse with built-in microphone - perfect for making your internet calls.

Or a svelte mobile mouse that you can slip out of the PC slot of your notebook and use to connect wirelessly with Bluetooth.

Bluetooth technology itself is coming on in leaps and bounds. It now supports a higher data stream so you can cut the cord between you and your music with stereo Bluetooth headphones.

So you can wirelessly bop to your collection on a compatible phone or PDA, and then take a call using the discreetly hidden microphone. Groovy.

Now, if you are really desperate for music accessories then this show does not disappoint. The iPod still reigns supreme as demonstrated by a toilet-roll holder complete with iPod charger. Need I say more?

And just to prove that we really are the iPod generation, how about a backpack with built-in iPod controls - or even a suit jacket with the controls stitched right into the lining!



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